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Addictiveness of Video Games

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Published: Thu, 09 Aug 2018

  • Tingting Song

Are Internet Video Games Addictive? Yes, They Are.

Video games have already became an indispensable part of our lives especially through the Internet as a medium to link the virtual space and real people in the worldwide. It is worth mentioning that Internet video games are more popular among teenagers, and their spare time is occupied by a variety of video games instead of doing something creative, imaginative and innovative. Therefore, they have a greater chance of video game addiction than other groups of players. Susan Orlean (n.d.) who is an American journalist states, “I’ve always been afraid of video games – not afraid that I wouldn’t like them, but that I would like them too much, and that after mere seconds in front of any particularly bright and absorbing game, I would abandon all ambition, turn into a mouth – breathing zombie, and develop a wide, sofa-shaped rear end.” The speaker points out the emotions of most players in the face of the video game. Video games excites, annoys the players, and even lets them hard to give up playing. Also, playing video games is a good escapist channel and the best way to kill time for players. In my position paper, I believed internet video games are addictive particularly for groups of adolescents. I will discuss the reasons, the causes, and the possible effects of being addicted to the games in detail with evidence. There is no doubt that video games addiction is a quiet killer that is threatening the study habits and the lives of teenagers. Game addiction is a sign of teenagers who have an excessive dependence on a game.

First of all, video games have addictive triggers to attract and to lure the players to become addicted to the game. In order to draw more players to play the games, game designers tend to make different types of games which meet different individual needs. a) Video games are usually divided into the following several types such as Action, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing (MMORPG), Strategy, Simulation, and Driving etc. Players can always find the games for their needs in such various categories. b) You will find that there have no specific pre-defined ends for most of these different video games. Players completes every task to have a new discover and those unpredictable factors always inspires players’ curiosity to continue playing the games all the time. c) The game set different reward for the character of the level up. When character have a new start in a new game, the character’s attributes are initialization settings in the game. If players want to finish the advanced task, to upgrade character’s attributes and to get more skills, they must make their roles from the initial level up to full level soon. With the level of ascension, players have to spend more and more time to challenge more difficult tasks. The process by characters to level up is sustainable and it cannot be sustained for a long time. Games designers build various rewards patterns for players to earn, which also causes addiction. d) Meanwhile, in-game currencies are increased by spending more time playing and more tasks are completed, which leads to more seductive pursuits to achieve. Cumulative gaming time or login in the game on time to complete the task will accumulate more wealth such as gold coins, credits, and energy which increase players’ purchasing power. In-game currencies can buy game props to help players easy to complete the task, and buy the virtual clothes to dress up the character, etc. (Loder Natasha, 2014). Actually, the virtual wealth were drove by players’ vanity. Sometimes, parts of crops in the game can sell for business in real life between players. That’s why parts for players play so hard that update their items for selling to get a good price. e) Moreover, the designers prefer to set the randomly time-schedule of in-game rewards. Sometimes, players will get a big reward after finishing several tasks, but there are still have several parts of players will get a huge rewards when they only complete one task. Game designers make the factors of uncertainty to let the players never know when they can be rewarded through the tasks, but players always would like to wait the reward until as long as they play long enough. Designers are so smart that always structure a different target to pursue players for different period of gaming time. That’s why players will always have the game to play with innovation. There is no doubt that video games addiction should be categorized as a mental disorder, however, the addiction is caused by video games’ design, which attracts more players to spend large amount of time to play it (John Hopson, 2001).

In the second place, video games provide a fully realized virtual world for players to “escape” from the reality of the physical world. For gamers, the virtual world are more appealing than real life. a) Those kind of people with social phobias, and lose motivation to communicate with people more likely to addict in the internet video games. The success of the game gives them confidence and give them affirmation to prove their personal ability. Because the desire for interpersonal communication, these groups of players would like to build friendships in virtual space. Players can play together with other game users in a group randomly, and enjoy the feeling of teamwork to accomplish their common task. Also, in the network game, players based on reality condition of the real world or personal expectations of themselves to create the character in any status to finish career goal, to make friends, and to build the family with other users in the game. A lot of players put their own emotions to the games like the SIMS, and gradually lose themselves and indulge in games (Romeo Vitelli, 2013). Furthermore, b) people who have huge pressure in real life, sitting in front of the computer, logging in the video games and into the game, they will no longer remember their own ambitions and worry about the difficulties that happen in the life. They will only remember the games’ tasks, the monsters are killed, or another beautiful magic world. Players love the feeling of playing games without any restriction force in real life so video games become their spirit of places gradually (Jack Flanagan, 2014).

Thirdly, video games have a strong psychological basis that can lead to an addiction for the players. For instance a) players get hysterical symptoms in the process to play racing games. Usually, this kind of psychology similar with the feedback after playing extreme sports. However, extreme sports have a high level of danger. People who keen to play extreme sports are willing to challenge the nature, and in the case of high danger coefficient to reach high excited state of mind. The metamorphosis of video game also create an immerse experiences for players, such as racing games. In addition, video games do not have physical risk. In the game, players should have quick reaction to avoid “hit” and elude oncoming vehicles. Mental shocking is a part of fun. Players are almost die but they are alive no matter in the process of extreme sports or such process of violate racing games (Jagodzinski Jan, 2006). All at once, b) violent video game provides the stimulus and brings more exciting pleasure for players. You cannot shooting in the street with a gun, it is illegal. However, violent games don’t break the low and have the restrictions for players. Virtual experiences are very real not only the first-Hand Role in killing process but also the vivid graphics. The pleasure of this kind of game is the reason of the players cannot extricate themselves (Xu Zhengchuan, 2012).

The last but not the least, Neuroimaging studies have begun to study the changes of brain activity when players play the games and recorded the changes with documents. The evidence shows that there have changes in brain activity during on-line play. Response to video game addiction in players is similar with drug-induced substance dependence. “These brain regions include the dorsolateral perfrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, nucleus accumbens, thalamus and caudate mucleus. (Bavelier Daphne, 2011). In addition, unlike drug addiction, Video game addiction will not cause physical damage to human body. However, damage of nervous system are the common reason for the players become problem gamblers. There is no doubt that video games are addictive, and to produce special devastating on the nervous system of the brain. Simultaneously, it is important to note that games addiction is a process of accumulation results (Bavelier Daphne, 2011). As well, addictive triggers is the important reason for the players spend a large amount of time to play internet video games and lead to cause changes in the brain. Then the fantasy world in the games make them feel better.

As an example, one of the easiest operation video games called Farm Game which connects the players with their friends through the Internet. When the player starts to play the game, they will have six lands to sowing crops. Mature crops generally lasted six to seven hours. Players had to harvest their crops on time to avoid their game friends to steal their crops. Players with crops to sell more, they will acquire more coins to buy more land and more expensive crops. At the same time, their level of farms will up with more crops they sold. Players had to check the time, log in the game every day and harvest crops on time in order to avoid other players to steal their crops. I doubts even the players whether cannot help thinking of the picture, content and so on in the game or not. Actually, for most game players, they do often remind of the game and can’t wait to play the game. Video-game designers structure unpredictable and unexpected factors to attract players’ curiosity and desire, so they would like to spend more time to complete the goal in the games. Compared to drug addiction with physical damage, video games are more inclined to spiritual enjoyment and satisfaction. It seems that video game addiction is harmless, but Bakker says video games addiction can ruin lives (Sherry Rauh, 2006). Players don’t think they are in trouble with games addiction who are ignoring the problems and making addiction worse. At an addiction treatment center in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands (Sherry Rauh, 2006), players particularly are groups of adolescent who seriously addicted to internet video games and come to this center to quit addiction on video games. Keith Bakker (Sherry Rauh, 2006) is a director of this addiction consultants said in recent years, they received more and more patients who addicted especially for playing online role-playing games. In the process of broking dependence, if the players does not get more actions such as playing video games, they will become agitated, irate, violent and miserable because their fantasy world was interrupted by us. They are in low depression even do not willing to eat, sleep and alive. Otherwise, video game addicts will let players stay away from social development that affect socialize relationships; they will become more isolated with others. As well, students won’t have energy to learning because they are hard to concentrate on learning. And, with the grades become poor, they are tend to dropout and give up other interests and hobbies.

In conclusion, I totally believed that it is possible to become addicted to internet video games. Video games addiction has become the mainstream problem in society. This addiction strongly causes problems for individual such as emotional problems, health problems and social problems. There are mainly four arguments’ points to explain the reason of internet video games addiction in this position paper. Such as video game have addictive triggers to attract players dependent on it and won’t stop playing. Play the game online in order to stay away the real digital world and video games offers strong psychological pressure to players. Lastly, there have changes in brain activity during on-line play. Video game gives pleasure to the players at the same time brings negative sides. In my opinion, video games addiction must be aware from parents and society because it is enough to destroy an adolescent life.

Work Citation:

Susan Orlean. BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: http://www.brainyquote.com/citation/quotes/quotes/s/susanorlea494668.html#GxqS5W5rQEVom45A.99

Loder, N. “What Makes Video Games Addictive? : Electronic Entertainment.” The Economist Newspaper NA, Inc. Feb 18, 2014. Web. April 5, 2014, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1500529138?accountid=28041

John Hopson. “Behavioral Game Design. GAMASUTRA: The Art & Business of Making Games”. UBM Tech. April 27, 2001. Web. April 5, 2014, from http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3085/behavioral_game_design.php?print=1

Romeo Vitelli, ph.D. “Are Video Games Addictive?” Psychology Today, 19 August, 2013. Web. 5 April 2014, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-spotlight/201308/are-video-games-addictive

Jack Flanagan. “The Psychology of Video Game Addiction.” The Week, 5 Feb, 2014. Web. 5 April 2014, from http://theweek.com/article/index/255964/the-psychology-of-video-game-addiction

Jagodzinski, Jan. “Video Game Cybersubjects, The Ethics of Violence and Addiction: A Psychoanalytic Approach.” Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society 11.3 (Dec 2006): 282-303. ProQuest Psychology Journals. Web. 5 April 2014 from http://services.lib.mtu.edu:3960/docview/216517632/485C5DD715AC4523PQ/3?accountid=28041

Xu, Zhengchuan, et. al. “Online Game Addiction Among Adolescents: Motivation and Prevention Factors.” European Journal of Information Systems 21.3 (May 2012): 312-340. ProQuest Business Collection. Web. 5 April 2014 from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1010849335?accountid=28041

Babelier, Daphne, et. al. “Brains On Cideo Games.” Nature Reviews. Neuroscience 12.12 (Dec 2011): 763-8. ProQuest Psychology Journals. Web. 5 April 2014 from http://search.proquest.com/docview/905093857?accountid=28041

Sherry Rauh. “Detox For Video Game Addiction?” CBS Interactive Inc. July 3, 2006. Web. 5 April 2014, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/detox-for-video-game-addiction/


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